A theoretical perspective for overcoming exclusionism

Yoshikazu Shiobara, Mikako Suzuki

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


This chapter represents the concluding discussion for this volume. The authors examine theoretical approaches to overcoming exclusionism in a divided society. Referring to the theories of multiculturalism and cosmopolitanism, including postcolonial perspectives, the authors confirm the importance of intersectional encounters with others to cultivate an imagination directed towards “others.” The official discourse and policy of “tabunka kyōsei” (multicultural symbiosis) in Japan has tended to prevent majority people from directing their imagination towards minorities because of the essentialist dichotomy of Japanese/foreigners. Critiques emphasizing anti-essentialism and hybridity that sought to deconstruct it were appropriated by the official discourse of integration/assimilation. Therefore, the authors propose an alternative viewpoint based on spatiality. In a place of “throwntogetherness” people must imagine the “others” encountered beyond borders to maintain their own place in life. Border-crossing experiences facilitating border thinking promotes the cultivation of said imagination. This imagination, however, accompanies the responsibility to recognize others in a proper way and can be bolstered by practices of dialogue with others. The dialogue simultaneously produces a moment for self-reflection and self-transformation and de/reconstructing the majority-ness of a society. The concept of dialogue, in this way, can create the condition of kyōsei as a place of conviviality and cohabitation resisting exclusionism and social division.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCultural and Social Division in Contemporary Japan
Subtitle of host publicationRethinking Discourses of Inclusion and Exclusion
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781351387880
ISBN (Print)9781315143705
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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